Since the Guardian article was published, I have received many emails from readers abroad, who’ve been inspired to go and look for plants in their own cities. Some have taken their chalk sticks and started chalking names too, which is fantastic!

In Germany, the hashtags #MehralsUnkraut und #Krautschau (literally “Weed show”) are becoming popular:

In the Netherlands, plant enthusiasts are tweeting their #stoepplantjes finds (“pavement plants”), such as this fantastic range of plants seen in a 25m² patch of pavement.

I am seeing photos from Spain too, with the hashtag “#NoSonMalasHierbas” (“we are not weeds”) and #NombralasConTiza (“name them with chalk”):

I have been contacted by journalists in several countries, so this may encourage even more people to take part. I will create a page to list all the initiatives by country.

If you know of any other initiatives, feel free to let me know! The more people raise awareness on the need to preserve these plants, the more likely we are to be heard by local authorities and to change people’s perception.

2 thoughts on “More than Weeds inspiring other initiatives around the world

  1. Dear Sophie, your post came just when I was preparing to write to you. I know your site and very much appreciate your work. I am delighted that it is getting such enthusiastic reactions from everywhere. I would like to suggest, on behalf of the Associazione Futuro Vegetale which I represent, that we might find ways to cooperate as our interest go very much along the same lines. Let me explain first who we are. We are a group of Italian professionals coming from a variety of fields and disciplines, architecture, biology, agroforestry, botany, communication studies, linguistics – to name but a few. Some of us are students, some work, some are retired (like myself (from a career as Uni professor of English in the UK and Italy) We come from all regions in Italy, I am writing from my home in Florence. We have met because we all took part in the Master Futuro Vegetale, run by Prof. Stefano Mancuso whom you might have heard of. After the Master we founded a non profit organization, also called Futuro Vegetale with the aim to promote initiatives towards biodiversity, plant awareness, social projects in the “green” field. I think that it would be great if we could manage to promote your approach and the one of “Sauvages de ma rue” also in Italy and so give them international visibility across different countries, spread the word! Many of the weeds will exist in many countries and across different attitudes, but there will be differences that could be noted and described. We think that it would be worth considering geo-localization. The involvement of “citoyens scientistes”, maybe schools is a great idea! We have organized some initiatives which we have called “Cene delle erbacce” using selected edible weeds to cook lovely dishes, exchanging recipes and describing the specific plant/weed used. In your web site (by the way I found it very clear and appealing) you mention the sore point of funds .. As a newly formed Association, like you, we are looking for funds. We have lots of contacts but, as you can imagine, these are difficult times due to Covid-19, and most available funds are being destined to support the health sector. Still I am sure that this would be the right time to form a common platform and start planning on some common projects. Let me know if this could interest you and may be we could have a talk at your convenience. All good wishes (and sorry for this long email!) Elena Tognini Bonelli

    Sent from my iPhone



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